Kudumulu or Undrallu are steamed sweet rice balls made of rice flour, Jaggery, typically made in the state of Andhra Pradesh India. They are offered to Lord Ganesha on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chavithi). They are also called bellam kudumulu, teepi kudumulu, bellam undrallu. Fresh sweet potato crop comes in fall, though they are available throughout the year. Perfect time for Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, and Diwali. Ganesh Chaturthi is also a festival of food. Lord Ganesh is said to be a foodie. His favorites varieties of Prasad are modak, kheer, Puran Poli, undrallu, kudumulu, and the list goes on. Foodies wait for mouth-watering food made of grated jaggery, coconuts, and dry fruits on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Chaturthi is high spirit and enthusiastic celebration. Preparations start days before the festival. Preparations to make Ganesh idol to buying new clothes and planning for food etc. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’. It is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is celebrated on 4th day of Hindu lunar calendar month of Bhadrapada maasa. Which is usually in mid-August to mid-September. Ganesh Chaturthi is also a festival of food. Foodies like me wait every year for mouth watering Prasad. Lord Ganesh is said to be a foodie. Many varieties of Prasad as modak, kheer, Puran Poli, undrallu, kudumulu etc are made and offered to him. North Indian way of modak is deep-fried. Flour dough is rolled and closed with filling, then deep-fried. In south India, modaks are steamed with coconut filling wrapped in rice flour dough.
Sweet potato is an inexpensive source of vitamins and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, several other essential nutrients including vitamins B-6, C, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid, as well as many minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. This dish has no milk. Ghee can be substituted with coconut oil or other flavored oils. That makes it a perfect vegan dish.
This dish is mimicked out of paala undrallu natively made for Ganesh Chaturthi in southern parts of India. It is made of fresh rice balls immersed in milk, jaggery, coconut and sesame gravy. I make my own rice flour at home every year for Ganesh Chaturthi. As balls made of home-made flour come out soft, fluffy which melt right in your mouth. The trick is not to dry rice completely after soaking. Rice balls come out hard with store-bought rice flour. All of typical south Indian Ganesh Chaturthi sweets are made of rice flour.
I hope this dish brings high spirit to you and your family to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.
- For rice flour
- 1 cup rice
- For gravy
- ½ cup cooked sweet potato purée
- ¼ to ½ cup Powdered Jaggery
- ½ Tsp Cardamom Powder
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- ¼ cup freshly grated coconut.
- 1 tsp Ghee (vegans can use coconut oil)
- One to three days before: Wash rice for 1-2 hours. Then drain water, and spread on a towel to dry. Dry for 1-2 hours depending on heat. Do not let it dry completely. Rice shouldn't have any dripping water. You should feel slight moisture. This time is perfect to grind.
- Grind rice to flour. Do not store in tight container. For best results, take a wide baking dish, or plate, spread flour and loosely cover. If stored in a tight container, since it has moisture, the fungus will develop in 1-2 days.
- On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi:
- For rice balls
- Take 1 cup of water. Boil in a pot. When boiling, simmer and slowly add rice flour. Make sure of no lumps. Stir and boil for 5-8 minutes with lid closed. When flour absorbs 80% of water, close lid and turn off the stove. Let it cool.
- When cooled, take a small-sized dough. Roll into a ball. Dip fingers in ghee if the dough is sticking. Keep aside.
- Roast poppy seeds and grind to powder
- For sweet potato gravy
- Add water to a pot or pressure cooker. Cook sweet potato till soft. Turn off the stove. Mash along with water to make it semi-solid consistency. Add water if necessary.
- Keep cooking, sweet potatoes. Add jaggery, ghee and mix well.
- Reduce the flame, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add freshly roasted poppy-seed powder, coconut, cardamom. Switch off the flame and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Then add the dough balls to the gravy and cook for 8 - 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.